Probably one of the most enigmatic and fascinating actors of the Millennial generation, Shia LaBeouf has been both lauded and chastised for his personal, professional, and artistic endeavors. Maybe he's just an attention-seeking actor trying to stay relevant, or perhaps - as I like to believe - he's a largely misunderstood avant-garde pushing the envelope of how we think about the world around us.
Since February 1st, Shia LaBeouf's Twitter account has been dedicated exclusively to posting about hearts and, in one tweet, a love letter. It started off like this.
Fast forward to March 3rd, and the tweets started reading "follow my heart" in various fonts:
These cryptic messages drove fans wild with anticipation and confusion for a week and a half. Finally the meaning behind the mysterious tweets was revealed on March 13:
The #FOLLOWMYHEART project is a partnership between LaBeouf, Luke Turner, Nastja Rönkkö, and Dazed, in which LaBeouf would be wearing a heart monitor 24/7 that would transmit his every heartbeat onto the Internet live for the public to tune in to between March 13th and March 19th.
The manifesto for the project by LaBeouf, Turner, and Rönkkö reads:
When people say, “listen to your heart”, they are urging us to tune in to the loving side of our selves; the imaginative, the intuitive, the compassionate, the inner wisdom we all possess. They are telling us to listen to our passion.
As we roam the SXSW festival, the data of my heart will roam the networks, transmitted live at FOLLOW-MY-HEART.NET for us to follow together in real time for the duration. With our physical distance collapsed by the networks, that innermost and most intimate of rhythms will be rendered immediate on our digital screens.
Like cats have whiskers, we too are born with a guidance system: our heart. It is our inner GPS, our map, and our guide. It promises to lead us down the path of maximum fulfillment. If you #FOLLOWMYHEART, it may lead to yours.
For the last 6 days LaBeouf has opened up and literally let the world follow his heart. When you think about it, it's a pretty beautiful thing. To listen to Shia's heartbeat as he toured SXSW, go to Follow-my-heart.net.
I've been listening solidly for a few hours now (research, I guess) and you do start to feel somewhat enveloped by the steady and intermittently erratic beat of his heart. It's...oddly soothing.
While I'm not sure that I'm deep enough of a person to fully grasp the meaning or desired outcome behind the project, it's definitely an interesting idea. Maybe we should all tune in a bit more to one another.